“I LITERALLY dressed like Kurt Cobain in high school: a white v-neck tee, hole-y jeans, combat boots. Wait … ” Jill White says over coffee, suddenly taking stock of what she’s wearing. “HOLD. ON. I have that same outfit on!”

And she does, or at least something like it. Skinny jeans that bare her knees, black lace-up boots, a gray tee, a black leather biker jacket. Her blonde hair is swept up in a loose, I-woke-up-like-this braid, and there’s definitely a smudge to her eyeliner. Kurt Cobain? Not so much. But there is some 90s grunge in there—at least a chic, minimalist, monochromatic take on it, with a bit of devil-may-care thrown in for good measure.

That’s also a pretty good way to describe the rooms Jill’s designed since branching out on her own with Jill White Designs three years ago. Take a scroll through her Instagram, and you’ll see whitewashed walls, bold cement tile, edgy wallpaper, glam lighting. (Instagram, BTW, has been the source of much of her success, she says—the way most folks, even far-away folks, find and hire her.) You’ll see plenty of black and white. And you’ll also get a pretty good sense of the sort of approachable, affable, uber-stylish person she is. The kind you ask, Where’d you get those boots?!, and, like, really need to know the answer, even though there’s nothing remotely Kurt Cobain about you.

Jill’s Jams

A few things this stylesetter can’t do without


1. Coffee table book

“I have two copies of Erin Gates’ Elements of Style in my house. Is that weird?” (elementsofstyleblog.com)

2. Frame denim

“Skinny jeans, by Frame. With holes. Add leather jacket, tee, sneakers.” (frame.com)

3. Lip gloss

“Always in my purse? Lip gloss. Not like one tube—like an obscene number. I just counted seven! This one by Nars is a fave—it’s called ‘Turkish Delight.’” (nars.com)

4. Wallpaper

“I love everything Lindsay Cowles does. The type of art I like is abstract, and that’s what her wallpaper is. It’s very graphic. I love to put it in dining rooms, on a headboard wall or in the powder room.” (lindsaycowles.com)

5. Vince ‘Varin’ sneakers

“I have two pairs and I wear them almost everyday. It’s stupid. Beige was having a sale one day, and I was like, Better stock up!” (beigelr.com)

6. Statement lighting

“People always ask me, What should I spend money on? Good art, good millwork, good lighting. And the Kelly Wearstler Halcyon series? Slay me.” (kellywearstler.com)

7. Leather jackets

“Me and leather jackets: It’s a problem. There’s one by Mackage that I love, and one from Free People with a hoodie.” (mackage.com)

8. White walls

“I like a blank canvas—I like to paint everything white. Architecture, artwork, cool millwork—that’s what you should notice, not a red wall. I like Snowbound by Sherwin Williams.” (sherwin-williams.com)

9. Cement tile

“It’s expensive, so you’ve got to use it thoughtfully—one wall in your kitchen, a bathroom floor—but I love the impact it makes. I really like anything black and white by Clé Tile.” (cletile.com)

10. “Magic” serum

“My friend who works for the company tells me it’s magic, and I believe it.” (skinmedica.com)